Priced at around £550, the 13.3-inch Pavilion dm3-1020ea is HP's latest affordable ultra-portable laptop. The company has decided to use AMD's Athlon Neo X2 L335 processor instead of one of Intel's ultra-low-voltage chips, so we were interested to see how the machine would perform both in terms of speed and battery life.
The dm3-1020ea is a very handsome machine. Everything screams class, from the brushed aluminium lid and chassis to the chrome trim highlights. It's light too, at just 1.9kg, so it's ideal for those who travel frequently.
Flip open the lid and you'll be greeted by the impressive keyboard. It uses isolated keys much like those found on the latest Apple MacBooks, but, despite the laptop's small size, the layout is superb, with full-size shift and enter keys. The touchpad isn't quite up to the same standard -- it has a glossy finish that feels rather sticky as you slide your finger across it, and it also tends to retain finger smudges. The two trackpad buttons are pleasingly responsive, though.
Although the laptop's screen is quite small and has a pretty ordinary resolution of 1,366x768 pixels, it's still impressive. For example, its wide viewing angle will come in handy if you're watching a movie on a train with a friend and, thanks to its LED backlighting, it looks fantastically bright. Its contrast performance is impressive too and colours look very vivid. It does use a glossy coating, however. That means the screen can prove distractingly reflective if you're using the laptop outdoors or near a window with sunlight streaming through.